Saturday, July 30, 2011


"I am sorry I was so cranky earlier, sweetie."

Dylan hugs me and kisses the crook of my neck.
"That's ok. I mean, thank you but I understand."
And a tiny voice inside says "No, it's not ok." (This is common  - I can never apologize enough)
But then the tiny voice says "It's not ok that you are cranky with me." (Not common)

That tiny voice isn't talking to Dylan.
That tiny voice is me, talking to me.

In Cat and Mouse, I speak of a gentle, loving voice of reason. She's the wisdom aspect of my inner child, the part that has always known what I need. Sometimes she is confused, since she's stuck in being a child - she wants to curl up in a ball and hide, for instance. But most of the time, whether she is being sharp with me or sweet, she's right.

This is the voice that has been trying to speak to me for the last week. 

I finished teaching a summer kids program - dweeb camp, as we affectionately refer to it - and had a whole week off. Sort of. While I was teaching the two-week creative writing program, a bunch of to-dos to do before going to England (Monday August 1) piled up. Also, emotions piled up - things gone unprocessed. As is common for me at the start of time off, I freaked out a bit. Then I relaxed into it and day by day found balance of doing and non-doing. Emotions came and went, and I felt pretty clear.

Today, for whatever reason (a friend reminded me today that the things we often call "reasons" are just normal stressors made harder because of plain old depression), I pushed it all down. Deep down. When that same friend asked how I was doing, I cried a little, which surprised me. I still felt like most of it was behind me. It felt good to speak of it, and I did so mostly in the past tense (as I am now writing in the past tense). However, later when I took a break from hours of hard work typing my own writing as well as Center business and emails, I got speedy. Cranky. I picked up Dylan, crammed in two errands and then snapped at her for being inefficient on the phone with bookstores, as she called while I drove to track down a title she wanted for the trip.

Thus, the apology.

It was clear I needed a long sit - silence, time to remind myself that I have space. This month's Shambhala Sun (not updated to current issue yet online) issue is entirely about relationship, and there are many wonderful writings in it, lots of reminders to keep in touch with oneself while in relation to others.

Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that there are selves under the selves I more commonly see and hear.

Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that we are all selves, conglomerate selves, interacting with each other like we interact with ourselves. That's a lot of people in the room, even when there are only two of us. Space is essential. This month's issue of The Sun (also not updated yet online) has a great Dog-Eared Page from Krishnamurti, who reminds us to pay attention not only to perceptions, not only to the space around them, but to the whole shebang. All of it. It's only then that we get the big view, and all we need to act appropriately to be of as little harm as possible, to all beings, including ourselves.

All of our selves. Including those that live beneath.


  1. 'Selves under the selves' - Do you know Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff? If you still need a really good read for the flight (or the whole vacation), go get it. If not, I can tell you about it when I see you. In my therapy group, we've done quite a bit of work with it - so far, I have identified about 15 different selves in me. It can be very chaotic, sometimes...